Osprey Sports Swoop-Up: Men and women’s basketball stumble heading into conference play

Al Huffman

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Dallas Moore leads the Ospreys in scoring this season with an average of 19.6 points per game. Photo by Al Huffman.

It’s been a cold winter for the UNF basketball teams. The Osprey men’s basketball team has lost two of their last three games during winter break, all on the road, while the women’s team has found themselves in a four-game losing streak.

Osprey Men’s Team vs. Arkansas Razorbacks Dec. 22

Men’s basketball fell to the Arkansas Razorbacks 97-72 on Dec. 22 at the Bud Walton Arena. This was the first game of the Ospreys’ three-game road trip to wrap up nonconference play.

The Ospreys trailed throughout the night while mounting runs to close the gap against the Razorbacks behind three-point shooting.

Late in the first half, UNF made a run to shrink their deficit to 49-41 in favor of Arkansas. 

Early in the second half, UNF guard Beau Beech recorded his fourth foul and had to sit out for a few plays. Beech finished with 9 points and 6 rebounds.

The Razorbacks made a run in the middle of the second half to close out the game for the win.

Osprey guard Dallas Moore finished the night with 17 points, 5 rebounds and 7 assists. Three-point ace Trent Mackey had 16 points, hitting 5 threes on the night.

The Razorbacks were carried by scoring duo forward Moses Kingsley (22 points, 10 rebounds) and guard Anthlon Bell (20 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists.)

Osprey Men’s Team vs. VCU Rams Dec. 30

On Dec. 30, the Ospreys fell 80-68 to the VCU Rams of Richmond, Virginia at the Siegel Center. Throughout the night, UNF connected from behind the arc only 5 times.

Early on, both teams were quick to score until the Rams created a rally of points. At halftime, VCU led 39-31 over the Ospreys before pulling away for the victory in the second half.

UNF made a slight edge on the glass pulling in 33 rebounds to 30 for VCU.

Junior Dallas Moore contributed 24 points as his teammate, Junior Chris Davenport, added 13 points of his own.

For the Rams guard, Melvin Johnson hit 4 three-pointers, recording 23 points to lead his team.

Osprey Men’s Team vs. Eastern Michigan Eagles Jan. 2

To start the new year, the Ospreys concluded their road trip to face the Eastern Michigan Eagles for an 82-77 victory in the EMU Convocation Center on Jan. 2.

The Ospreys were back in their shooting rhythm with 11 three-pointers over the Eagles. 5 threes came from the hands of senior Beau Beech.

At the half, the Ospreys had a 46-45 lead going into the locker room.

After a hot start by UNF, the Eagles responded well but the Osprey defense stopped them cold to seal the victory.

Beech finished the night with 23 points while forward Chris Davenport had a big night of his own with 15 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists.

On the EMU side, center James Thompson IV went a perfect 9-9 from the field to rack up 18 points to lead his team.

Osprey men’s basketball kicks off conference play on Jan. 6 against Stetson in DeLand, Florida. Then they come back home to face rival Jacksonville on Jan. 9 at the UNF Arena.

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Guard Claire Ioannidis scored 23 points in the Ospreys’ loss to Mercer. Photo by Ashley Saldana.

As for the women’s basketball team, the Ospreys have found themselves in yet another losing streak, dropping their last 4 matchups and 5 of their last 6.

Osprey Women’s Team vs. UNC Wilmington Dec. 29

The UNF women’s basketball team lost to UNC Wilmington 63-47 on Dec. 29.

Coming off their Christmas break losing both games of the Holiday Classic, the rested Ospreys looked to get back to business against UNC Wilmington.

The Ospreys kept it close to begin the game with UNCW holding a slim 16-12 lead over UNF. However, the Ospreys dropped the ball in the second quarter falling behind 36-19.

Many of the Ospreys’ woes came at the hands of of UNCW guard Naqaiyyah Teague who dropped 12 points in the first half alone. Additionally, sophomore guard Sierra Shepherd got more rebounds (5) than UNF’s two starting forwards combined in the first half.

“It’s a matter of engaging physical contact,” UNF head coach Darrick Gibbs said. “It has to be our first thought when the shot goes up and we got to be a lot more physical.”

In the second half, the Ospreys picked it up on the offensive side of the ball, but issues on defense gave way to UNCW taking a 52-34 lead going into the final quarter. As has been the case with most of their losses all season, UNF’s effort didn’t come until the opposing team was already up by an insurmountable margin. The Ospreys fizzled out and lost the game 63-47.

Osprey Women’s Team vs. Mercer Jan. 2

The Ospreys suffered their fourth straight defeat when they lost on the road against Mercer 68-54 on Jan. 2 in Macon, Georgia.

In an off game for Shepherd, scoring just 8 points, the Ospreys relied heavily on junior guard Claire Ioannidis to carry the scoring burden.

Despite a strong 23 point outing by Ioannidis, the Ospreys had familiar issues come up that cost them the game. The Ospreys played a close game in the first half, but were outscored 24-6 in the third quarter and were never able to recover. The Ospreys lost the game 68-54.

On a positive note for the Ospreys, senior guard Kadesia Johnson seemed to get back to her old self, leading the team with 8 rebounds.

To kick off conference play, the women’s basketball team hosts Jacksonville in the first game of a double-header on Jan. 9 for the Ospreys, with the men facing the Dolphins later that night.

These game recaps were covered by Spinnaker sports reporter Joslyn Simmons ([email protected]) and staff reporter Al Huffman ([email protected]).

**Correction: The Razorbacks were first referenced as the Arizona Razorbacks, which was corrected to the Arkansas Razorbacks.

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